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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: The Group continued consideration of organization of scientific and technological cooperation (A/AC.241/57), and addressed Procedures of the Establishment and Maintenance of a Roster of Independent Experts and Procedures for the Establishment of Ad Hoc Panels.

Roster of Independent Experts: Benin, on behalf of the G-77 and China, clarified that “independent experts” are acting in their personal capacity, expressing their independent scientific views. The Chair clarified that the roster consists of independent experts in contrast to the government-appointed members of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST).

Selection of experts to be included on the roster: The changes below were agreed to ad referendum. Under paragraph 2 (nomination of experts) the G-77 and China expressed concern that experts could be nominated “irrespective of their nationality” and suggested a deletion. The Chair noted that governments could nominate experts from countries other than their own. The paragraph, as amended by Kazakhstan and Canada, now reads “Each Party may nominate experts, not only from its own country, taking into account the need for a multidisciplinary approach, appropriate gender balance as well as broad geographical representation. Nominees shall have expertise and experience in fields relevant to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought.”

In paragraph 5 (CST representatives should not also be on the roster) the G-77 and China expressed concern that some countries would not have enough experts for both the CST and the roster. It was agreed, as suggested by Uzbekistan, to delete the paragraph.

Review by the Conference of the Parties: Delegates agreed that “The Conference of the Parties shall review the roster regularly and at least at every other ordinary session of the Conference of the Parties, and formulate recommendations in order for the roster to be consistent with the requirements provided for in paragraph 2 above.”

Maintenance and transparency: The heading was changed to “Maintenance of the roster.” The Chair reminded delegates of the contents of paragraph 6, noting that nominations should be submitted to the Permanent Secretariat through diplomatic channels.

The Group quickly adopted Section III (procedures for the establishment of ad hoc panels) and moved on to the substantive procedures for their establishment. There was lengthy debate on whether to limit the possibility of establishing ad hoc panels during the COP’s ordinary sessions. Delegates agreed that “The COP, in principle, in its ordinary session, may as necessary, appoint ad hoc panels....”

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